International match shock before the EM: Austria is humiliated and puzzled

International match shock before the EM
Austria is humiliated and puzzled

The historical clap against Denmark throws Austria’s footballers back in the World Cup qualification. However, national coach Franco Foda is combative with a view to the EM. But he also says that he wants to “rethink a few things” over the next few days.

Austria’s badly beaten captain David Alaba courteously congratulated the celebrating Danes before his team boss Franco Foda tried to nip the expected coaching debate in the bud. “Oh God, there is always this discussion. It’s our job,” he said after the historic 4-0 (0-0) defeat in the World Cup qualification against Denmark: “You have to be able to live with that. It’s for me no new territory now. ” Indeed, because it is not the first time that Foda has come under public criticism. And that only about two and a half months before the EM.

The first phase of the qualifying round for the World Cup in Qatar next year gave Austria little hope of a successful tournament this summer. A 2-2 win against Scotland at the start was followed by a 3-1 win against the Faroe Islands, before the team was brutally shown the limits on Wednesday evening in Vienna. Foda remained thoughtful. He said he wanted to “rethink a few things” over the next few days and promised: “At the European Championship we will then present a different picture.” There his team – now in Amsterdam and Bucharest – will meet in Group C against the Netherlands, Ukraine and Deutschland-Schreck North Macedonia. In its current form, a rude awakening threatens.

There is a lack of “speed and dynamism”

Foda admitted that the Austrians lacked “speed and dynamism” against Denmark, the defense swam in all goals conceded and was partly duped. On top of that, they hardly created any significant opportunities for themselves. “We wanted to let the ball run. Play football bravely. But the opposite happened completely,” Alaba judged after the highest competitive game failure on home soil. The defeat can partly be explained by the shortage of personnel, regular staff such as defense chief Martin Hinteregger from Eintracht Frankfurt was missing. Nevertheless, the bitter result and a difficult starting position in the World Cup qualifiers are on the books.

Austria has four points in their group F and five points behind the leading Danes. For Foda, after the EM, it’s only about second place, which may be enough for the play-offs. He’s optimistic about this, so he’s not worried about his job. “We still have the opportunity to qualify for the World Cup. So I think there is no internal issue,” said the German ex-international.

“We often have black or white here”

Since taking office in 2017, the 54-year-old has had to fight critics again and again, even if he achieved some successes: He bought the EM ticket and rose to Austria in the Nations League in 2020. Still, doubts about his work lingered, which were now being rekindled. “We often have black or white here,” said Foda, recalling the situation before the 2016 European Championship. The then team boss Marcel Koller had sparked great euphoria in Austria with the first athletic qualification for a European championship – but expectations were disappointed.

“They believed that Austria had to make it to the quarter-finals, but then saw that they were eliminated in the preliminary round,” said Foda, who also sees an opportunity in the low expectations: “Maybe these are different omens.”